Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BCS Champions or BS Champions?

Former LSU coach Nick Saban holds the National Championship trophy
For the first time since they started the BCS, a non-conference champion won the title game. And, unless you count the Bowl Alliance (1995-1997 seasons), it was the first time the SEC champion lost the "title game."

But was it really a title game?

A lot of people seemed to be upset that Alabama, which didn't win its conference -- heck, it didn't even win its division -- was even in the title game.

Of course, I don't remember hearing all those people piss and moan when Oklahoma played in the title game in 2004 (2003 season) even though they got beat by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game. LSU ended up beating the Sooners in the National Championship Game.

I also don't remember a bunch of whining when Nebraska was in the title game in 2002 (2001 season) when they didn't qualify for the Big 12 title game. Miami beat the Huskers in the National Championship Game.

But, this time, the non-conference champ beat the team that "deserved" to be there, unlike the two Big 12 teams from the 2001 & 2002 seasons.

Of course, this was a rematch from a game played earlier in the year. That's never happened before. Unless you count the 1997 Bowl Alliance title game (1996 season) between Florida and Florida State. FSU won the regular season finale, but Florida won the rematch in the National Championship Game.

So what happened -- a non-conference champ in the game and a rematch in the game -- has happened before. All this whining should have happened the first time one of these things happened. Or the second. Or the third. Waiting until the fourth is a little late.

What should have happened? There should have been a playoff. The 11 conference champions and the top five non-conference champions should have been placed in a pool of 16. Like I wrote about here. Then, the two teams that are still standing after that have shown they deserve to be there. Who knows what would have happened? We may have had an Alabama-LSU rematch. Or, a game between Oklahoma State and Boise State.

Will a playoff happen? No, because a true championship isn't the goal of the people in charge.

So, we're stuck with a very imperfect system. Sort of like how we pick presidential candidates.


  1. Basil...just a historical note. Now, it wasn't the BCS Championship, but history somewhat repeated itself.

    In the 1959 season, LSU beat the #1 ranked Ole Miss Rebels on Halloween night on "the run" by a score of 7-0. That was a game that most observers thought Ole Miss clearly whupped The Tigers, but lost (similar to LSU's 9-6 win over 'Bama earlier this season).

    The two teams would meet again in the Sugar Bowl, where Ole Miss would exact revenge in a 21-0 drubbing of LSU...and be named National Champions. (Kinda like what happened Monday)

    History was on 'Bama's side...and having a damn good squad didn't hurt, neither.

  2. Oh, I had forgotten about that season and the parallel. But, do you know who won the SEC championship that year?


    So, in 1959, the post-season number one team was from the SEC (LSU), though they weren't the SEC champs (Georgia).

    By the way, Georgia went 7-0 in the conference, with their only blemish an early-season loss to South Carolina (who wasn't in the SEC back then; Georgia Tech was). That Bulldog team (featuring Fran Tarkenton and Pay Dye) went on to beat Missouri in the Orange Bowl.

    Sorry, but it does me good to remember when Georgia had a team that was worth a darn.

  3. Basil, I did not know that Georgia won the SEC that season. Puts a finer point on things. Thanks.


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